“Dysmemics – Bad Ideas that Reproduce Furiously” caught my eye in the profile header of Paula Wright on Twitter / X.

I’ve been using “the memetic problem” for the idea that “bad ideas win over good ideas” in the battle for attention and adoption for at least two decades. Even the sciences themselves suffer from this addiction quite generally, before we get into socio-political minefields. Basically simplistic ideas are much easier to capture and share in a few memorable words and images than better ideas which are invariably more complex, nuanced and subtle. So bad wins over good, and that’s a degenerate state of affairs for humanity as a whole, an inevitable slide to lowest common denominators, especially as more of the process is (semi-)automated at the speed of light.

“Woke” wins over “everything before / after the but”.
[Post Note: Ditto anti-Woke btw.]

Until today, I hadn’t noticed someone had in the meantime coined a word for that memetic problem – “Dysmemics”.

Onward and upward.


Post Notes:

Frankie Boyle – 2016 in The Grauniad:

“it’s difficult to explain why
an ingrained assumption is wrong
in a soundbite”

And in the “Woke” context hinted at above, from June 2023 – the incompetence of a three letter acronym vs complex systems reality. We’re doomed 😉

More Post Notes: Jan 2024

Hat-tip to Ben Taylor again, sharing “a space worth listening out for” – quietly protecting the good stuff from the stupid ideas” by Matt Watt at Complex Wales / The Homunculus. A fellow traveller it seems.

Also interesting University of Nottingham post by Brigitte Nerlich on the dumbing down / dehumanising effect of AI et al.

And Dave Snowden at Cynefin “Anthropomorphising Idiot Savants

And, here Stephen Fry reading a Nick Cave letter. The content itself, but also to note the “God” language – Cave being a believer and Fry, like me, not.
(Great use of the word “demoralising” … removing morals from the world.)

And finally for now Antonio García Martínez:
(Hat tip to David Gurteen, another fellow traveller)

“The decades after the printing press were some of the most violent and volatile in human history.

The same will happen with the Internet/blockchain/AI.

We’re just hurtling towards a wall, some screaming for the brakes, some claiming more speed will get us through it faster.”

(Note – the internet itself, not just the fashionable bits with flashy brandings and acronyms. I’ve been “screaming for the brakes” – calling for moderation of all internet enabled discourse since before social media.)


2 thoughts on “Dysmemics”

  1. Yes, made that parallel before without referencing Gresham, money being human confidence in value at root.
    Thanks for the reminder / link.

    (Gonna add the Stephen Fry / Nick Cave link to the post-notes too …)

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